Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

2Mar/112

Random Youtube: Richard Marx – A career rewind

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The other day in the office, we discovered with horror that a couple of our younger co-workers were unfamiliar with "No Reply At All" by Genesis. This is hardly a new thing - a few years ago, I went to see Howard Jones with a friend and her boyfriend and at the conclusion, we walked out of the show and he admitted that he hadn't recognized a single one of Howard's hit records.  It's sad but true, we might be getting old.

But that doesn't mean that we can't educate the youngsters about the old-timers that are still here and making good music. Enter: Mr. Richard Marx.

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24Feb/110

Last Minute Gig Alert: Roger Clyne @ The Beachland Tavern

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Thanks to ATV pal Scott Banham for the heads up on this one!  If the combination of a frosty cerveza and the music of Roger Clyne sounds like a good time to you (and it should!), you'll want to nab yourself a ticket for the newly announced last minute Beachland show happening this upcoming Tuesday (3/1) IN THE TAVERN!

Normally, you'd find Clyne and his regular band of musical gypsies The Peacemakers in the larger Ballroom (for shows that often are packed to the gills), but Tuesday's show will be a more intimate affair with Clyne and fellow Peacemaker P.H. Naffah performing acoustically (ATV friend Jason Meyers will open up the show).  Tickets are $15 in advance and $17 day of show, but you're probably running a huge risk of a shutout if you wait that long.

The duo will barnstorm a smattering of cities starting with the Cleveland show on Tuesday, with stops in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota (we're really starting to get cold now) prior to wrapping things up in Indianapolis on March 6th. I'm not sure what the exact reason is behind the dates (and hell, we ain't lookin' for an explanation), but the one thing that they all have in common is that it will give like minded individuals in each city the opportunity to come out and drink beer and enjoy some good old fashioned acoustic pickin' with a setlist that's sure to feature your favorites from both the Peacemakers catalog and ye olde Refreshments. Check out the complete run of tour dates here.

Clyne will be back on the road in April with the full band, celebrating the release of the latest Peacemakers opus Unida Cantina, which will be available on April 19th.  It's reasonable to guess that you'll probably hear at least a few of those new songs at the upcoming March dates. On top of that, each night is a guaranteed good time...the most fun you can have without actually being in Mexico!

Here's a recent live performance of "Maria," one of the tracks that will be featured on the upcoming album, recorded in January at the Music Fog studios in Steamboat Springs, CO.

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11Jan/114

Shows to Know: Trashcan Sinatras, Helmet + The Godfathers

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You know what's awesome?  Hearing news that the Trashcan Sinatras will be back in Cleveland for an acoustic show within the most excellent confines of The Winchester on Friday, March 18th.


The gig is part of an upcoming tour that the band describes as a series of acoustic shows and house parties (including a number of cities getting either their first Sinatras show or first visit since touring in 2004-2005 for Weightlifting), and the trek is expected to run 20-25 dates.  The band will take requests through their website and as you might guess, they'll play the top vote getters in each city.

Here's a list of the dates from their website:

march 3 houston, tx – fitzgerald’s
march 4 dallas, tx – the loft
march 5 austin, tx – cactus cafe
march 7 atlanta, ga – atlanta room @ smith’s olde bar
march 8 charlotte, nc – casbah room @ tremont hall
march 9 chapel hill, nc – local 506
march 12 philadelphia, pa – house party
march 14 northampton, ma – the iron horse
march 17 rochester, ny – the lovin’ cup
march 18 cleveland, oh – winchester music hall
march 23 dayton, oh – canal street tavern
march 24 st. louis, mo – firebird

You can also get your mitts on an acoustic live CD (recorded over two shows in November of 2009) that would probably be good primer for the shows.

In the meantime, put your Helmet on...

Helmet will also be hitting the road as a replacement for High on Fire on the Metalliance tour, an outing that also features Crowbar, and Saint Vitus (!!!!). But the real news is that they'll be rolling the entirety of the classic Meantime album on each night of the tour.  The tour starts on March 17th and will run through April.  Allegedly (read: not officially announced, but it's happening), Cleveland will get a tour date on March 26th at Peabody's.  Tour dates for the entire run will be announced shortly.

The Godfathers play a bunch of U.S. shows, for real this time?

Remember how close Cleveland came to getting a Godfathers tour date last year?  2011 brings not one, but THREE Ohio dates for the legendary rockers, including Sunday, February 13th at the Grog Shop.  That's the sound of our ATV scribe Kevin jumping up and down for joy.  Settle down - we don't want you to harm yourself!

Here's the rundown of tour dates from the official press release:

Wednesday, February 9th

Off Broadway (St. Louis, MO)

Thursday, February 10th

Double Door (Chicago, IL)

Friday, February 11th

Club Garibaldi (Milwaukee, WI)

Saturday, February 12th

Howard's Club H (Bowling Green, OH)

Sunday, February 13th

Grog Shop (Cleveland, OH)

Monday, February 14th

Santo's (NY, NY) - St. Valentine's Massacre Show

Tuesday, February 15th

Maxwell's (Hoboken, NJ) w/The Sights & Frosting

Wednesday, February 16th

Johnny D's (Somerville, MA) w/The Sights & Frosting

Friday, February 18th

Black Cat (Washington, DC) w/Dot Dash & Frosting

Saturday, February 19th

Frankie's Inner City (Toledo, OH) w/The Sights & Frosting

Looking at the tour schedule, I'll assume that this is the band's first visit to Bowling Green...

2011 is looking musically bright already!

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1Sep/102

Interview Leftovers: Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes

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I saw The Black Crowes for the first time in 1991, opening for ZZ Top at the Richfield Coliseum.  It was a "complicated" tour for the band (that's the term I used to reference the tour during my recent conversation with BC drummer Steve Gorman) and truthfully, they weren't very good, which was disappointing to me, as Shake Your Money Maker had been one of my favorite albums of the previous year.  But they came a long way in a short period of time and quickly found their sea legs as a band, becoming a unit very worthy of the tag bestowed on them by Melody Maker as the "Most Rock 'n Roll Rock 'n Roll Band in the World."

20 years later, they're doing what every band does to celebrate a 20th anniversary - they're calling it quits - at least for now.  They're calling it an "indefinite hiatus," and I'd say that they've earned the break - leaving us with some good music to enjoy while they're away.  Croweology is the band's current project - a 20 track trip through the looking glass of the band's career output to date, performed acoustically, although to call it an acoustic album would be deceptive - at many points on the album, it flat out rocks (as my buddy Tony "TNT" Tilford would say).  Give honorable mention as well to Before The Frost, the album that preceded the release of Croweology - any way that you'd like to look at it, they're punching out on top.

The chat with Gorman for the Riverfront Times was a lot of fun and 30 minutes of 86 mph conversation that left me with way more material than I needed for the final piece.  The first part can be found here with additional "outtakes" here, including a very cool story about his experience working on Warren Zevon's final album The Wind.  The rest of everything that was left follows below, and I think you'll find that there's some very tasty stuff.  After the interview, I quickly remembered why Gorman is the guy that does a lot of the Black Crowes press - he has a limitless number of good stories and a great personality - it was a really enjoyable interview!

Early on in your career, the band had a couple of complicated tours with Aerosmith and ZZ Top. As a member of the band during that time, what was your takeaway from those experiences?

Aerosmith was a drag - it was something that we went into thinking that it would be a lot of fun, really great and exciting. It was our first introduction to the real business of big time rock. And that's nothing against the guys in the band, it's their machine was just sort of, we were just a bump on their ass for that tour. But that was fine because it wasn't the Aerosmiith that we grew up listening to, it was Aerosmith 1990. Which was still a very good band, [but] it wasn't something we were really enamored with personally. We decided to keep telling ourselves that "well, we're getting in front of a lot of people."

We weren't very good yet either - we were playing really fast and we were just trying to get noticed. We came off that tour and then did a tour with Robert Plant which was the exact opposite. That was a great professional environment to hang in. He was a very constantly creative and interesting person to hang out with and did make himself completely available to us constantly. So that was way more what we kind of thought being on tour with a big guy would be like. By the time ZZ Top rolled around, we were very confident and we figured out how to do those big shows in arenas and all of that shit was going on.

When all of the shit started where they wanted to fire us, we honestly - people think it was a big setback, we could not have possibly cared less. We never even discussed it. When they did fire us, we thought "well fucking great, now we can finally do some of our own dates." We saw the value in it because you can't help but notice "wow, everyone's talking about this." Beyond that, we didn't care. But again, that's not even the guys in ZZ Top - Billy Gibbons has always been awesome to us and with us and we're friends. That didn't have anything to do with anything, that was just business and so that's why it didn't bother us, it was like "well this isn't our business, this is their business."

I had just seen the band in Cleveland, and you left the ZZ Top tour shortly after that show. Pre-internet, when you would hear about something like that on the radio, it was really shocking. But I think you're right, you definitely got some good mileage out of the incident, because it was all that anybody was talking about.

Well it was funny because they actually fired us in Atlanta, so that's our hometown. We were doing three nights at The Omni and we walked off stage after the second night and they said "you're off the tour." It was amazing because that night at midnight, Chris went on [syndicated rock radio call-in program] Rockline [laughs], which you remember, used to be a big deal. And then two days later, David Fricke came to Atlanta to do the cover story for Rolling Stone. It couldn't have been more "really, you guys just fired us? Awesome! Great, thanks!" We threw together a six week theater tour, which was our first headlining tour outside of clubs and we were just elated. We couldn't have been happier, like "oh fucking right on, we can go play a full show now." We brought out Jellyfish to open, which we loved their record - we'd never been happier.

Touching on Shake Your Money Maker a little bit, it was fun for me to pick out the band's influences while listening to that album. The band had a sound that was instantly classic and yet not a clone sound of the bands that had come before.

It's funny, for all of the Stones comparisons, you can't say on any level Chris ever sounded remotely like Mick Jagger - not voice wise, phrasing or lyrically - it's a whole different thing. If you want to say Rod Stewart, well our band, truth is that we don't play anything like The Faces. If you A/B our music and The Faces, it's pretty hard to find. It's not to say that we don't love those records - we listen to The Faces, The Stones and we listened to Nirvana when that came out. We listen to everything, but those people were sticking those things on us, which truth be told if you're going to say I sound like a band, I'll take the Stones - that's hardly a problem.

As a live band, we took way more cues from Led Zeppelin, how they played live, [and we] took way more cues from Little Feat and The Grateful Dead, I mean we certainly tried to. That's the bands that we were emulating with how we did things live. Truth is, because we're all pretty much self-taught musicians, we weren't good enough to do covers for the first three years that we were a band - we had to write our own songs. But our playing style, the reason we have our own sort of style is because we only know playing with each other and how we interact with each other and everyone's individual things they do. At this point obviously it's years since it's made sense to compare us to another band.

I definitely saw the progression from that first show that I saw on the ZZ Top tour and the next Black Crowes show that I saw a few years later.

Oh yeah. The Shake Your Money Maker tour, we were just in school for two years. When we started the Southern Harmony tour in the summer of '92, that was like okay, this is where we're getting to now. By the time our third record came out in the fall of '94, that's when it was no longer like we're trying to get somewhere, that felt like ok, we're here, this is where we're at now. We started playing together in 1987 and I had owned a drum kit for two years when we made Shake Your Money Maker.

It was amazing to see the reaction because I remember thinking “wow, you people are reviewing us and critiquing us like a real band.” It didn't dawn on me that we were a real band. It's like I guess if you put a record out, you're jumping in the big shark tank. I'm sitting there going “man, we've only been together three years, this is going to take a while.” It was six or seven years as a band before we really felt that everything we've learned, we're able to apply it in a way that's making a lot more sense.

It's like anything, you gotta start at the bottom and work your way up. The commercial success of Shake Your Money Maker thankfully didn't deter us from what we always wanted to be, which was to just get to be a really great live band. You know, that record sold that many copies because of a lot of elements – promotion sells records and your live show sells tickets, and we were always more focused on the ticket part. We love making records and we love our records but the idea that you're going to go spend a year talking about one album as opposed to the band, we were always promoting The Black Crowes, not just one record.

I think that you certainly had a bit of foresight, focusing on touring instead of record sales, because these days, bands are obviously making the bulk of their money touring, because they're not making that money off of album sales.

Oh, totally. That was always the thing with us. It's amazing to talk to people now and to remember in the '90s that we used to get royalty checks [laughs]. It's like "wow, that was great!" You know what I mean? You're sitting at home and every three months a check comes for record sales, that's shocking. It was about an hour and half after some kid in a dorm room figured out Napster, that was the last check that we ever got. It was like "man, that kind of blows." But that's just what it is - thankfully we were always doing the live thing, because it is an amazing thing for technology to end so many careers. It built so many careers, but it certainly ended just as many.

The Black Crowes are on tour for the rest of the year, a tour that appropriately is called "Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys."  Their new album Croweology is in stores now. Visit their official website for all things Black Crowes including the latest tour dates.

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23Dec/0922

A Very Cleveland Christmas

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In the '80s, a Cleveland Christmas meant several things: Going downtown to Higbee's to see Santa, watching Mr. Jingeling -- the "keeper of the keys" -- on TV and hitting the Twigbee Shop. The latter was a store-within-a-store which paired a helpful elf with young children, so they could shop for their parents' presents by themselves. (Of course, some resourceful children scrimped on family members to buy for themselves. Like I did one year, to purchase a "California Sounds of the '60s" cassette.) The idyllic scenes in A Christmas Story were not an exaggeration: The glamorous downtown department store in the Terminal Tower exploded with decorations, lights and holiday cheer.
higbee's santa

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17Dec/090

Contest: Win a signed copy of “Looking for Calvin and Hobbes”

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One of my favorite books that I've read this year, is Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip by Nevin Martell. (You can check out my review at Popdose right here.)  Until and unless Watterson decides to tell the story himself, this book is the most complete look that you're going to get into the world of Bill Watterson and his wonderfully influential comic strip that has touched so many of us as fans.

Looking for Calvin

In the spirit of the holiday season, Martell is giving away five autographed copies of his book - one of which will go to a lucky ATV reader!

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16Dec/091

Bob Seger Lands Top Selling Catalog Album of the Decade

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We've got some good news out of the Motor City with the word that our man Bob Seger has officially locked in the top selling catalog album of the decade on Billboard's Decade End Catalog Albums Chart with his 1994 Greatest Hits release.  Greatest Hits spent two years on the Billboard Top 200 before moving to the Catalog Albums chart where it has logged 660 weeks.  To date, Greatest Hits has sold nearly 9 million copies, which means that without question, Bob Seger is the man.

Bob Seger- Greatest Hits

We checked in with our resident Bob Seger nut Mel for a comment, and she simply said, "Bob Seger is a frikkin' GOD, and I demand that everybody MUST listen to "Still The Same" right now!"

For those of you that haven't picked it up yet, Early Seger Vol. 1, the new rarities release from Seger, is a must have for all Seger fans.  Five of the tracks are previously unreleased, and finished recently by Seger with some touchup work in the studio, and it's those five tracks that really make this set worth having.  Hopefully we'll see more archival releases like this from Seger in the future.  How about a live DVD?

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12Dec/090

Good Listening: Steve Poltz at Daytrotter

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Kudos to Jeff Giles for hipping me to the just-posted Daytrotter Session with Steve Poltz.  Anybody who knows Poltz will know that he doesn't mess around, so while some artists might play an unreleased song or two for Daytrotter, Steve played nine.

As I said on Twitter, if you're not hip to Poltz - get hip!  Start with The Rugburns, and buy everything!  My personal favorite solo disc from Poltz is One Left Shoe, his initial dip into non-Rugburns activities.  And God, how I miss The Rugburns.  I'll always remember one particular night at the Euclid Tavern where The Rugburns had been on stage for about 3 hours+ at the point that we decided to call it a night - and they were still going!

Check out some vintage video of The Rugburns below!

Steve Poltz at Daytrotter

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12Dec/094

Video: Cracker in Iraq

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Earlier this week, I spoke with Cracker frontman David Lowery regarding the upcoming winter run of tour dates for Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. The interview, which will run soon in the Riverfront Times, was a good opportunity to chat with Lowery about a number of subjects.  One of the things that I was most interested in hearing about, was the recent tour that Cracker played overseas for the troops in Iraq.  We talked quite a bit about that, and as it happens, the band have just posted on their website a mini-tour documentary of sorts that documents the experience.

Here's the vid for your viewing pleasure!

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9Dec/0934

Lloyd Cole: Past, Present and Future

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While perusing the Winchester’s schedule on Sunday night, my jaw dropped at the show announced for January 27, 2010: Lloyd Cole Trio. I immediately flashed back to 2006. In November of that year, I flew to Cleveland for a few days, with the express purpose of catching Placebo at the Agora and Cole at the Winchester. The British singer-songwriter was touring behind his 2006 release Antidepressant, and the C-Town show was his first appearance here in sixteen years. Performing as a duo (well, a trio if you count the occasional drum loops from a laptop), Cole ran through a set heavy on new tunes and light on well-known songs. Seeing him in such an intimate venue, however, was amazing.

Lloyd Cole

Intrigued that Cole was coming back so soon, I looked at his website and realized that this new show was only one of four on the whole tour. Four shows, mind you, circling the Great Lakes region. In January. Without a stop in New York City. Who does that?

Well, Cole does, that’s who. Always inventive – and never content to rest on his laurels – he described his new trio like this:

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